December garden update (for real)

Normally in December my garden, any garden around Western New York, would be covered in snow.  All of the foliage would be completely dead from a frost that occurred weeks before.  Here in Western New York if you make it past Halloween with a plant or two spared from frost, you are pretty lucky.  We are less than a fortnight from Christmas and I have not only lush foliage, but blooms, In the December garden. 

Swiss chard

The other day we experienced record breaking 71 degree weather.  Normally around this time a day in the fifties is a welcomed reprieve from the cold.  Temperatures in the 60s are unheard of – 71 degrees – quite incredible.  We have more seasonable weather coming and even expect our first, yes first, snow of the season this weekend.

Let’s just take a look around the garden though, shall we?

In the front yard the vinca (that I moved back in May) has a lovely, purple bloom, in the December garden, I might add.

Vinca blooming December

Not too far away a lone primrose has opened a bloom, also in the December garden.  This was an Easter plant bought for decoration that I stuck in the garden on a whim.

primrose bloom December

Remember when I created a mowing strip around the herb garden?  Quite a few of the herbs are looking good.  I was not shocked by the sage, it is a pretty hearty herb.

Sage in December Northeastern garden

The rosemary, mint, oregano and thyme are all looking good.  I harvested sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme on Thanksgiving for our meal and an impromptu arrangement.  I could go out and harvest even more in the December garden, no less!

Mint still alive in December garden Oregano in late fall

I even have a nice little bunch of Swiss chard that I will be clipping to add to salad.

Swiss chard

Ultimately it is not going to be good for the garden and the plant life, especially the fruit bearing trees.  They need to have their dormant period, as explained here.  I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I am glad that it is going to get colder.  I can look forward to abbreviated winter, I hope.

Fall garden pictures and a garden update

We had a couple rainy days, but that is not going to stop this garden update.  A constant, droning drizzle that is excellent for gardens, but that keeps people in the house.  Most people, don’t garden in the rain, that is.  Crazy people like me that get free perennials, get bundled up and go out and plant stuff.

Hosta_sum_substance

This “Sum and Substance” hosta was orphaned by my mother in law.  She lost a tree that gave it the perfect shade and did not have a spot to transplant such a large variety.  I was happy to fill in some space one on each end of a long yew shrub.  You can see that this hosta is a bit yellowed from excessive sun exposure, but this shady spot should turn it a deep healthy green.

fall_garden

While I was out there, I checked the fall garden and grabbed a couple of peppers for dinner.  The pea plants are thick and beautiful.  The beans look great too.

peas_beans

The hoop house is full of sturdy seedlings.  After the rain we are supposed to have a good stretch of sun and nice weather.  That will get these crops growing well.  Radishes, turnips, rutabagas, kale, Swiss chard, carrots and bunching onions.  This is our first time using a hoop house and I am excited to extend our season.

fall_hoop_house

The okra, eggplant and tomatillos still look great and are loaded with fruit.

okra_eggplant_tomatillosThe pepper plants are loaded with fruits and many are turning such pretty sunset colors.

peppers_still_producing

I was able to roast a couple of pecks and freeze them up for winter use.

roasted red peppers

Sadly tomatoes are coming to their end…so sad.

liming-garden-site

Prepping our new veggie garden

I am so excited to be prepping our new veggie garden.  We didn’t have time to start a vegetable garden last year because we had so much yard clean up (more on that in another post).

The extent of my veggie growing was in a small garden at the corner of our house and garage and a some pots on the deck.

herb-garden-kale-swiss-chard container-garden-greens

I was able to grow a good election of herbs, lettuce, kale Swiss chard and 2 tomato plants.

container-garden-tomatoes-lettuceThey did okay, but we had to rely on our remote garden for most of our production.  We were so busy working on our new property it was hard to get to the remote garden enough.  Between the weeds and the critters, it was a tough year.  Here is a picture of one of the better garden hauls which is pretty lame compared with other years.

remote-garden-haul-2014

 

We spread a whole lot of lime to sweeten the soil and the ashes from our fire pit to give a little potassium and nutrient boost.

liming-garden-site

Later that night we had a nice light rain that washed it all in.  As soon as it dries up, we will begin tilling.  Today I will be starting the seeds that will be transplanted to the garden.

spreading-ash-future-garden

Our soil is pretty awesome to begin with. The Swiss chard and kale in the little garden above got to be about 2 feet tall by October.  I never took a picture of it, but all who saw it were amazed by the soaring size of it.  If our veggie garden has half as good of soil, I will be thrilled with our yields.  I am looking forward to a bountiful harvest.  Like, getting tired of canning and freezing all of the harvest, bountiful.